Potato Soup

Tom Norrington-Davies takes humble spuds and transforms them into a hearty winter soup - for best results, choose floury potatoes - King Edwards and Maris Piper
By Tom Norrington-Davies
Potato Soup
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4-6
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

For the soup

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • 3 large, floury potatoes, peeled and roughly diced
  • 500 ml water, or vegetable stock
  • pepper

For the potato and watercress variation

  • 1 x 150 g bag watercress, or 1 bunch
  • 1/2 nutmeg

For the mushroom variation

  • 20 g dried mushrooms, porcini or shiitake
  • 200 ml hot water
  • 2 sprigs thyme, or rosemary (optional)
  • extra virgin olive oil, to serve

Method

1. For the soup base; gently heat the oil in a saucepan and add the onions, garlic and salt. Turn the heat down very low and cover the pan with a lid. Cook for about 10 minutes.

2. Add the potatoes to the pan and pour over about 100ml of the measured water and bring to simmering point.

3. Cover the pan and simmer for another 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Check occasionally to make sure all the liquid hasn't evaporated. If it dries out, add a little water to moisten.

4. When the potatoes are tender to the point of falling apart, add about 400ml of water and heat through. Puree the soup in a liquidiser or make a coarse puree with a potato masher. Season to taste and serve.

Variations
Potato, watercress and nutmeg soup
5. Add the grated nutmeg along with the potatoes as they are added to the pan.

6. Remove only the thickest part of the watercress stalks. Everything else can be chopped as finely or roughly as you like. Stir the watercress into the potato soup just as you serve it.

Potato and dried mushroom soup
7. Soak the mushrooms in warm water for about 20 minutes, then drain, reserving the liquor.

8. Use the liquor to add to the potato soup as it cooks. Either finely chop the mushrooms into a rough paste, or slice as finely as you can, and stir them into the soup at the end of the cooking time.

9. Chop the leaves and scatter into the hot soup with the mushrooms. Finish with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

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